Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Arts and Sciences announces the Final Dissertation of

Hammad Alshammari

for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

on April 5, 2018 at 10:00 AM, Patterson Hall, Room 448.

Advisor: Emily Thrush

The Effect of Educational Background on Second Language Reading

ABSTRACT:This study explores the Saudi ESL perceptions about the effect of the educational background on second language reading in light of the Linguistic Interdependence Hypothesis (LIH). The LIH proposed that there is a sort of strong interrelation between the first and the second language reading. The main assumption of LIH as developed by Cummins (1978) is that L1 proficiency would affect the L2 development; in this case, transferability, either negative or positive might be inevitable. In fact, from personal experience, this is a sound and intriguing argument. Such a theory could be of profound importance to provide an in-depth understanding of the important role of the L1 educational background (Nel & Müller, 2010). The interference between L1 and L2 has been already suggested with the Saudi population (Al-Qahtani, 2016). Nevertheless, research is far from comprehensive toward an in-depth understanding of either the obvious or the subtler issues that may delay or even impede the overall developmental progress of L2 reading comprehension. Therefore, I would be focusing on this issue by recruiting eight Saudi ESL students with two proficiency levels; highly proficient and less proficient for the purpose of more understanding of the phenomenon (Nel & Müller, 2010). This is a mere small step towards finding out possible reasons and, then, getting closer to more plausible solutions. The findings of the study will have pedagogical implications in the field of second language teaching in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations.